Monday, March 31, 2014

March Movie Status

I saw 17 new movies in the month of March, I had 1 re-watch, and I rewatched a TV season.  I finished off the last of the movies that appeared for the first time on the 2013 year end IMDB Top 250 list, so I am once again complete on the 16 year consolidated list.

I am semi-actively working on the following lists: Oscar Best Picture Nominees, the six 101 [Genre] Films You Must See Before You Die lists, and They Shoot Pictures Don’t They.  Some of these overlap, but I am showing films under only one list’s count in the details below. 

All of these different lists can be seen by clicking on the names of them.  They link to my Lists from Chip posts on them.

Here are the 17 new movies, 1 old one, and the TV season I saw in March.  Highlighted movies are ones to which I would give at least three stars out of five.

IMDB (3): Before Midnight (2013), Rush (2013), Prisoners (2013)

Oscar Nominees (0):

101 Genre (0):

TSPDT (2): Claire’s Knee (1970), They Live By Night (1948)

Other Movies (12): The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013), Stoker (2013), Reaching for the Moon (2013), The Lego Movie (2014), Turbo (2013), 20 Feet from Stardom (2013), Austenland (2013), In a World… (2013), Blue Jasmine (2013), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), The Spectacular Now (2013), The Great Beauty (2013)

Re-watches (1): Thor 2: The Dark World (2013), TV – Game of Thrones Season 3

I saw so few films this month that I will just write a bit about each.

Before Midnight (2013) – Worthy third film in what has now become a series.  What happens when you’ve ended up with your destined love?  Real life intrudes.  3.5 stars

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) – Better than the first film in one important area: you can actually see what is happening onscreen.  There’s very little shakycam on display.  Movie watchers rejoice!  4 stars

Rush (2013) – Better than I expected.  Does a good job of recreating the 1970s Formula 1 racing circuit.  3.5 stars

Stoker (2013) – Highly recommended.  You can read my four star review by clicking on the movie name.

Reaching for the Moon (2013) – Period lesbian tragic romance.  Some great architecture (one is an architect), but I don’t have much else good to say about it.  2 stars

Claire’s Knee (1970) – Really slow, talky movie where unfortunately the subjects being discussed were all so banal that they were completely uninteresting.  I’m probably being generous with this rating.  2 stars

The Lego Movie (2014) – A fun movie, although never having played with Legos I’m sure I missed some of the jokes.  3.5 stars

Turbo (2013) – Nowhere near as horrible as I heard it was.  My low expectations helped me like this.  3 stars

20 Feet from Stardom (2013) – Not a brilliant documentary for an Oscar winner.  It does a great job revisiting a lot of old music from a different perspective, but unfortunately takes a wrong turn into racial politics and loses its way.  3.5 stars

Austenland (2013) – Even Jane Austen fans will probably be let down by this.  2 stars

In a World… (2013) – I really wanted to like this more than I did.  It had a great trailer, which unfortunately showed most of the best parts of the movie.  3 stars

Blue Jasmine (2013) – A thoroughly dislikable main character sinks the movie.  All I wanted was for the film to end so I didn’t have to put up with her anymore.  2 stars

Prisoners (2013) – I was expecting a gripping thriller and instead the movie reveals what is going on about 45 minutes into its 2.5 hour runtime (if you’re paying attention).  It then felt like it took forever to get to where I already knew it was going to go.  2 stars

Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) – a lesser Coen Brothers movie.  They tried to recapture the magic of O Brother Where Art Thou – this time with folk music instead of bluegrass – but it’s just missing that special something that would make it memorable.  2.5 stars

The Spectacular Now (2013) – interesting teen romance film in that it is mostly realistic.  Shailene Woodley does another good job.  3 stars

The Great Beauty (2013) – a lot of pretty images in search of a plot.  Style triumphs over substance (The Hunt) at the Oscars for Best Foreign Language film.  2 stars

They Live By Night (1948) – Good film that everyone seems to place into the Noir genre, but which has little to do with it other than a crime gets committed.  The movie is actually about a young, doomed romance.  It has some great camera shots in it.  3 stars


  1. Agree about Rush, better than I expected too.

    Before Midnight (2013). It really was a bit more like real life, than the first two films, wasn't it? I recently discovered a documentary trilogy which follows people over the years like The Up Series does, only it's in Swedish, I haven't seen it, but plan to. In case you're interested: They Call Us Misfits (1968), A Decent Life (1979) , & Misfits to Yuppies (1993)